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A Better Effort at Building a Low- Carbon Economy.

San Francisco Treehugger Jaymi Heimbuch reports that a carbon footprint analysis of the projects proposed within the economic recovery package, commissioned by Greenpeace, shows that "the stimulus would cut a minimum of 61 million tons of CO2 every year. That is equal to the greenhouse gases from electricity use in 7.9 million American homes or taking over 13 million cars off the road."
An even bigger impact could be made in the Transportation sector.

ICF International – a leader in climate and energy consulting for governments and major companies – conducted the analysis, looking at those parts of the package where measurable greenhouse emissions was possible. Parts of the package where measuring the carbon footprint was impossible were left out. This means about $24 billion of the $51.9 billion detailed in the energy portion of the stimulus package could be quanitified. The findings are something greenies can smile about. This portion of the package equates to eliminating about 61.5 million metric tons of annual CO2 emissions.


“The fact that the federal government could spend so much money and actually help slow global warming means we’ve really turned the page as a country,” said Kert Davies, Greenpeace’s Research Director. “This is a real sign that we’re starting to move beyond the era of fossil fuels.”


The report shows findings such as $2.5 billion spent on energy efficiency upgrades to homes could reduce carbon emissions by 7.3 million metric tons and save $1.25 billion in annual utility costs. Also, a $6.9 billion investment in assisting state and local governments in boosting energy efficiency could mean a $3 billion savings every single year and cut carbon emissions by over 20 million tons per year.

Highlights from the ICF analysis:
  • Energy Effciency Housing Retrofts generate $1.25 billion in savings on a stimulus nvestment of $2.5 billion and save 87.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over the life of the programs’ energy effciency improvements.
  • Home Weatherization spending of $6.2 billion investment could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 8 million metric tons annually and 131 million metric tons over the lifetime of the insulation improvements.
  • Helping consumers install forescent light bulbs would provide immediate payback in terms of carbon and energy savings.

Green Recovery: A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy
Prepared by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, under commission by the Center for American Progress and released by a coalition of labor and environmental groups, Green Recovery focuses upon a short-term green stimulus package would create two million jobs nationwide over two years.
After looking at what ICF found, Greenpeace recommends:
  1. Since the job-creation potential of clean energy is virtually limitless, Congress should increase funding for these projects still further. Investments in energy efficiency create 4.4 times the number of jobs as the same investment in nuclear energy and 2.6 times the number of jobs as coal.
  2. Make the renewable energy tax credits recession-proof. Today, some clean energy companies aren’t earning enough profits to pay taxes and claim the credit. Congress should make the tax credit fully refundable.
  3. Eliminate the wasteful and environmentally damaging loan guarantees for nuclear power and liquid coal, which generate far fewer economic and jobs benefits than clean energy.

If funds that Congress has allocated for new highway construction instead went toward highway repair and more development of public transit, then the $30 billion allotted for transportation would contribute more to mitigation of GHG emissions. This is unlikely to happen because of various political influences. Nevertheless, thinking ahead to a new climate bill, such an analysis provides ammunition for the greeniew-weenies to take pot shots at the pricetages on various Congress critters.

Posted via email from jcwinnie's posterous

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